I was recently trying to install Umapper but couldn’t because it only runs on PHP5. I started reading up on PHP4/5 and how a lot of hosting companies are now moving to PHP5 because it’s better, faster and eliminates the overhead of loading the PHP interpretor on ever hit, and they are not going to support PHP4 for much longer.

I checked my hosting company (bluehost.com) and discovered this was true for them as well.  They have a panel where one can go and with a few simple steps, the change can be made easily.

As you can see I made the change to PHP5 (FastCGI). Then I discovered my website would not work correctly. Parts of the page would load, but the rest was missing. I also noticed that my permalinks, or category pages were not working at all. (how frustrating)!

I contacted the Live Chat Support Team, at Bluehost and they were very helpful, although they did everything I had already tried. They didn’t mentioned adding an Apache Handler, which I did later. (whether this made a difference I am not really sure).

But, I am sure of the following. I did a search in the WordPress Forums and found exactly what I was look for. There is always someone who has come across a similar problem to yours, and I found the following advice from a chap called Woordenaar:

This code needs to be added to your .htaccess file that sits in the root of your website. I had one, and mine was slightly different.

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>
# END WordPress

Going back to the Apache Handler. The only reason I made a change to mine was because I was reading up on the Gallery 2 website, and noticed the “LoadModule php5_module. So I copied application/x-httpd-php and added it as a handler, and added the .php as the extension. (If you are a Bluehost customer the Apache handler configuration screen can be found under Advanced).

So it has taken me about four hours to figure this problem out, but it’s been worth it, and I’ve learnt a few things about PHP5 and Apache. I was determined to solve this problem and make my site faster (since it’s been snail pace recently). Now I can install the Umapper Plugin version 1.3.95. 🙂